Heather Knox

2023 Town Council Candidate

Professional Background/Occupation:

Current Employment

• Telluride Adaptive Sports Program: Grant Writer and Volunteer (2021 – current)
Writing grants and volunteering for the Telluride Adaptive Sports Program (TASP) is incredibly rewarding. I have successfully brought national, state, and local funding to TASP, including a high-profile national grant from the Christopher Reeve Foundation for a partnership with the Tribal Adaptive Program to bring Native American athletes living with paralysis to Mountain Village for skiing, and hand-cycling. This is an 18-month grant for six sports camps. If you see the Tribal Adaptive group around Mountain Village, please say hello.

• Bruin Waste Management: Grant Writer and Implementation Support (2022 – current)
The Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity (RREO) Grant was identified as a grant opportunity for Bruin Waste Management. I wrote and developed the successful grant proposal to bring commercial compostable-waste collection to businesses, and community drop-sites in San Miguel, Ouray, and San Juan counties, including the towns within these counties. The grant award of $811K provides funding for Bruin Waste to implement the communitywide compost collection services. This has been a goal for our region for over a decade. Look for more information on this exciting initiative to come!

• Telluride School District (2021 – current)
I work for the Telluride School District as an assistant in the TSD pre-school, and a much-needed substitute teacher.

Previous Employment
• Town of Mountain Village: Telluride Conference Center, Director of Economic Development 1998 - 2008
In 1998 I was hired for the future Telluride Conference Center. I quickly worked my way up to management positions, becoming the Director of the Telluride Conference Center in 2002, and culminating in the role of the Director of Economic Development for the Town of Mountain Village, 2006 - 2008. In this role I was responsible for all departments that collectively made up MV Economic Development: Telluride Conference Center, MV Events, and MV Marketing and Communications. Key partnerships included Marketing Telluride Inc., the Telluride Ski and Golf Company, Mountain Village hotels and businesses, community festivals, non-profits, and government partners.

• Telluride School District: Director of the Michael D. Palm Theater 2008 – 2013
As the Director of the Palm Theatre I managed all aspects of the theatre, booking and contracting talent, and working closely with numerous festivals, non-profits, and community organizations. I developed and founded the Palm Arts organization, a new 501(c)3 for community dance education. In this role I was responsible for marketing events, executing contracts with community organizations, and developing overall organization budgets for both the Palm Theatre and Palm Arts Organization.

• Director of EcoAction Partners 2014 – 2019
EcoAction Partners is a non-profit sustainability organization that coordinates with the governments of Mountain Village, Telluride, Ophir, Norwood, Ridgway, City of Ouray, and San Miguel and Ouray counties, as well as other key organizations and partners. As the Director of EcoAction Partners I worked with government staff and officials to establish and implement regional climate action and waste reduction goals and execute other sustainability projects.

Length of Time as Town Resident:

11 years

Previous Political Experience/Specific Qualifications:

Currently, I serve on the Mountain Village Grants Committee (2020 – present), and the Mountain Village Ethics Commission (2022 – present). In 2022 I was appointed to the Meadows Resident Advisory Board, which held five public meetings to provide a Meadows-specific perspective to the 2022 Update to the Comprehensive Plan. I was an active participant on the MV Green Team (2017-2021) until the structure of the Green Team shifted from a community board to direction by MV staff and Council, which seems to be more effective. I also participate in Mountain Village Government by attending meetings and providing public comment on agenda items that are of interest to me.

Previously as the Director of EcoAction Partners I worked with government staff and officials from San Miguel and Ouray counties and the town governments within these counties. Collectively we established and implemented regional climate action and waste reduction goals. Working with regional governments to establish cooperation and consensus-building was invaluable.

In developing the Bruin Waste grant proposal to establish compost collection in 3 counties and the towns within, I requested and gathered 14 letters of support from the governments and partner organizations. The outpouring of community support positively influenced the award of this grant. I understand the importance of working collectively to meet regional goals and leveraging community support to secure state and national funding for our region.

Reasons You Would Like to Serve:

I want to serve on the Town Council to give back to this community that welcomed me in 1995 and continues to provide a healthy, safe, beautiful place for my family to live. I bring the experience of twenty-eight consecutive years in the region, including eleven years in Mountain Village. I have had the pleasure to be part of Mountain Village’s evolution from a sleepy company-town to a vibrant community, with strong programs, events, arts, and recreation, that draw residents and visitors here. As an avid skier, cyclist, and hiker, I love all the recreational improvements and trails that Mountain Village continues to add. My background in the arts, along with my passion for environmental sustainability, and my love of nature, shape the values I will bring to the Town Council. My ability to work with all the local governments and constituents, and my long history with Mountain Village, its businesses, events, and the non-profits, add to my skills and enthusiasm to be an effective Town Council member. I want to help shape the future of Mountain Village so generations ahead can continue to enjoy this special place.

As a town council member, I will prioritize Mountain Village while also understanding our role and commitment to the region and beyond. I believe it is important to have diversity on the town council. Currently we lack ethnic diversity, which is unfortunate; gender diversity is weak especially with one of the two female council members departing. Mountain Village does not have a singular demographic – there is a spectrum of economic levels, and ages from infants to retirees and everything in between. It is important to welcome all perspectives from our constituents. Through my employment I bring a non-profit perspective, and one from the Telluride School District. I want to help shape the future of Mountain Village, supporting sustainability efforts, work-force housing, trails and recreation, and funding for important community services, as well as finding solutions to support our essential public transportation system.

I am ready to put my skills and passion to work as a Mountain Village Town Council member. Thank you for considering me to represent our town.

Other Information You Want to Include:

I am a parent of two young women, Zoe and Thea Rommel. Zoe is 19 and a student at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. Thea will be a senior at the Telluride School District this fall. Both are successful students, artists, and athletes.

I grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I loved skiing and I was fortunate, early on, to go on family ski trips to Aspen and Park City, UT. I also ski raced and traveled to Mt. Hood, OR for summer ski camps. I knew with certainty that I wanted to live in the mountains. When I graduated from high school, I went to Colorado College in Colorado Springs. This allowed me to experience all that Colorado has to offer.

I am a resident, homeowner, parent, volunteer, employee, and neighbor. If elected I will be a dedicated Mountain Village town council member. Thank you for your consideration.